Your problem is, as I understand it, that you don't want to have to start getting the microcode and putting it in whatever file the distro says ???
Cos that was one of the reasons that I moved to mandrake in the first place it was the first (or one of) to directly support speed touch USB DSL modems, but
as far as I'm aware, unless you get a "boxed set" disc, then you'd still have to get the microcode copied to /usr/share/speedtouch then you just tell it what device you want to use to connect.
The "boxed set" discs, you just have to tell the install the device and it installs the microcode. This, I believe is that while the microcode is available freely, it's NOT free, it's proprietary, as in, it's owned by Alcatel Thomson.